Standard Article

Nucleotide Sequence Divergence between Humans and Chimpanzees

  1. Feng-Chi Chen1,
  2. Trees-Juen Chuang2

Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020751



How to Cite

Chen, F.-C. and Chuang, T.-J. 2008. Nucleotide Sequence Divergence between Humans and Chimpanzees. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    National Health Research Institutes, Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Miaoli, Taiwan

  2. 2

    Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2008


Chimpanzee, as the closest relative of human, has long been a focus of molecular evolution. In this article, we review recent findings of five major categories of human–chimpanzee genomic divergence, namely nucleotide substitution, insertion/deletion, duplication, pseudogenization and rearrangement. It is demonstrated that nonsubstitution variations greatly increase the complexity and play a critical role in human–chimpanzee genome evolution. These genetic changes may provide some clues to the evolutionary origins of human-specific traits.


  • evolutionary genomics;
  • nucleotide substitution;
  • insertion/deletion;
  • duplication;
  • pseudogene;
  • genome rearrangement